01 August 2009


The Swiss Confederation was formed on this day in 1291. The Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1800. Slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire in 1834. The last entry in Anne Frank's diary was 1 August, 1944. In 1966, sniper Charles Whitman killed fifteen people from the clocktower at the University of Texas in Austin. MTV began broadcasting in 1981. Celebrating birthdays today: Robert Cray, Sam Mendes, Honeysuckle Weeks (the only actress I know of with a band named after her) and Bastian Schweinsteiger. It is Yorkshire Day -- felicitations to everyone in God's Own Country. Here's the first video ever shown on MTV:


  1. As my Grandad said, never ask a man if he's from Yorkshire, if he is, he would have told you, if he's not why embarass him?

  2. Switzerland: an example of variegated cultures, isn't it? Italians, Germans, French, you name it live in Switzerland. What is the amalgamated culture of Switzerland where Democracy is apparently carried out in an exemplary way?

    It seems the debate started yesterday by Andysays' comments seems not to have ended.

    The human being always in hunt of their origins, why can't we stay quiet and leave things as they are?

  3. Says it all...and without a hint of irony

    #Purnell opened his talk by declaring that he had been refreshed, since leaving the cabinet, by the expansive vision and energy in the wide, wide political world of....think tanks! I listened for the sniggers, but there weren't any. And looking around I saw why: in a roomful of 100 people meant to be talking about the future of the left, there were precisely no activists and nobody who looked like they'd ever spent time on state benefits. There were, however, plenty of Guardian journalists, a lot of folks from Demos and the Fabian Society and five - five! - people I personally knew from Oxford university. So where were the have-nots in the debate? Surely it was their conversation to have as much as anyone else?#


  4. MF
    "Says it all...and without a hint of irony"



    Good point, what matters is the position today and how this translates into people's misperceptions about immigration.

  5. MFish

    And if the Left doesn't rediscover its social conscience double sharpish, we may as well all go home.

    Doesn't look like it'll happen anytime soon.

    New book out according to the Radio 4 news this morning - The English Rebel by David Horsefall(?) and nice chat about the loss of our dissenting spirit. Its raining too, think I'll stay in bed.

  6. Yeah, I especially liked..

    #So where were the have-nots in the debate? Surely it was their conversation to have as much as anyone else?#

    hmmm...it's a puzzler? Also, beats me why you never see turkeys in at the planning stage of a Christmas dinner.

    #...and nobody who looked like they'd ever spent time on state benefits.#

    These Oxbridge types are so naive. She's on the look out for emaciated, scruffy little urchins while the fat birds with highlights stroll right past munching their Space Invaders.

    I do hope she gets the Guardian gig she so desperately covets, and indeed so thoroughly deserves, one day. Here's the full link btw, it didn't all fit last time.


  7. freespeechoneeach01 August, 2009 09:28

    Those interested in sexy shoes in large sizes for a spot of ankle- wrecking transvestism could do worse than look at 'alternative footwear', based in the North West

  8. ...but I came on in order to whoop triumphally for Dianne Pretty's victory with the Law Lords.
    It's really great news. One of the real problems we have in the UK is the dead weight of incomprehensible Law. My main concern is the Dangerous Pictures Act, but proposed anti- prosdtitution Law is as bad.
    The Law Lords have established that we poor subjects are entitled to comprehensible Law if we are to be judged by it. This really is amazing progress.
    I cannot express highly enough my admiration for this exceptional womann ,nor properly thank her for what must be the most positive development there has been in Parliament for a generation or more.

  9. MsChin, I wouldn't, though, forget history and its lessons.

    Yes, immigration should be dealt with in a way that doesn't forget what our cultures have found along centuries of existence. If you mix 1 litre milk with 1 decilitre water, the resulting colour will always be milk white.

    That's in my opinion, what immigrants seeking a new life among us must realise first of all, before finding work they must learn to live with us or if you wish both at a time, it should never be the other way round. Although comprehension of their origins should never be discarded either.

    Not easy but it is viable.

  10. freespeech
    An exceptional woman, as you say, a true woman of courage.

  11. Hi MsChin. She's a true hero.
    I can't imagine what MS sufferers go through, despite knowing a couple (one of whom is 68 and a *carer* ffs!) This pain, day in, day out, eclispes what soldiers do for money in my book. And I say that having just finished watching Black Hawk Down several times. (The Ridley Scott DVD commentary on this is a powerful case for military intervention.)
    Dianne's more heroic than firemen/women- another group I admire enormously (Who would willingly go into a burning building? Not me, for sure!)
    But Dianne Pretty's not only coped with her diabolical illness, she's gone ahead and triumphed against the forces of oppression. It's certain that others will use the precedent she's wrung out of the Law Lords. The woman is ace, fantastic, the absolute tops in my opinion.
    I only hope she gets the recognition and acclaim she so richly deserves. I fear that she'll now be in receipt of the attentions of the Labour/ Tory/ Christian smear squad.

  12. Freespeech I absolutely agree - it is really quite incredible that here and now in the 21st century we can be bound by laws whose outcomes are so uncertain.

    I am a little concerned about the direction that certainty will take though.

  13. 'Where are the have-nots in this debate? well nowhere of course, we don't seem to believe we can do things any more.

    Which leaves the field open to those who pose extreme and murderous solutions. We have a problem with those who have dropped below the line, who live without hope, pride or dignity. I am not romanticising here such people are not attractive the only word I can think of is dysfunctional the unemployed whop are unemployable. This is appalling.

    I watched the programme about the founding of the NHS last night (on i-player) In terms of their physical health the working class were in a similar state after the second world war Nye Bevan's determination to raise them from those appalling conditions created the National Health service. It is easy to forget what an enormous difference this made to the lives milions. The gynaecological health of working class women alone was appalling then and so many children died because they had no access to immunisation. (and it was precisely these groups that had no access to health care, working men did have 'the panel')

    As I listened to his speeches I found myself saying 'Nye we need you'. Because we do need someone who can inspire people to sort out the mess that too many of our population have sunk into. As with the National Health service it is someyhing that needs doing, like the NHS it will cost money, as with the NHS it will be worth it.

    It is the problem we need to anihalate not the people who have been destroyed by it.

    But where is this leadership going to come from ? I can't see any sign of it. Also where is the social solidarity that gave us the NHS despite the quite disgusting campaign of the BMA and the Tory party?

    Watch it here

  14. annetan
    But where is this leadership going to come from ?

    You may well ask. I can't think of a single person in our political class I'd trust with putting out the bins these days never mind the NHS.

    Thanks for the link to the prog, I'll watch it this evening - can't face it at the moment - the day is already wet, grey and dismal enough.

  15. Hi annetan! Great to cross paths with you again!
    Isn't it the ultimazte indictment of our system of Government that a chronically sick woman has to go through a lengthy legal process to get clarity in the Law.
    I mean, what Earthly use is a Law no- one understands? And what use is a Parliament which is happy to pass such Laws?
    Just been catching up on the Portugese drugs decriminalisations. Fascinating. Some countries have enlightened systems. Why can't we?

  16. I am starting to think that the NHS everywhere is bound to adopt the American system. The so called powers-that-be don't want differences anywhere in the social issues. Here, in Spain, I can see there are tendencies to neglect the proper running of the NHS on the part of the authorities. As though they wanted that public turned to private.

    A worldwide movement that will adopt a sole currency, the same facilities for every country, something Orwellian indeed.

    We will be speaking of West and East, each with its dominant power and each with its own idionsyncrasy.

    Which will be the last and ultimate superpower is something next generations will have more chances to see.

    I myself won't be here to be a witness, thank God.

  17. Just spent about half an hour on here and managed about half a cupful...I think


  18. MF
    I've got 540 grains so far ..

  19. 1720 grains Split 'tween vocabulary and multiplication tables.

  20. sorry completely off topic but wanted to know if MonkeyFishs name had anything to do with this?

  21. Now at 2000 on vocabulary, so giving it a rest for a bit.

  22. Anonymous

    No. Not unless they wrote a song about me...which I could understand because I've written a couple myself...well more sort of epic poetic sagas; full of stuff about doing really cool things and my special powers and abilities.

  23. {a href="web address here"}whatever blurb you want in here{/a}

    don't forget the speechmarks